Income inequality, economic stagnation, health care disparities, enhancing educational and economic opportunities for the working class, and helping women win elections are among the causes that drive Andrew Boardman.
Now, the Honors Program student and junior economics major will have a chance to pursue those issues more intensively as the University’s newest Harry S. Truman Scholar. As one of 59 students nationwide selected for this honor in 2018, Boardman has been awarded a $30,000 scholarship, which will assist him in his pursuit of a master’s degree in public policy and an internship with an agency that deals with economic and social justice issues. He will join his fellow awardees for a May 27 ceremony at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence, Mo.
Candidates for the Truman Scholarship go through a rigorous, multi-stage selection process. This year, there were 756 candidates for the award nominated by 311 colleges and universities. The 194 finalists were interviewed in March and early April by one of 16 regional selection panels.
“I have worked on these issues on a local and state level, but my end goal is to be a policy advisor at the federal level because that is where policy change can have the greatest impact.”
After he graduates in 2019, Boardman will participate in an eight-week Truman Summer Institute designed to help expand students’ understanding of policy and policy-making through participation in seminars and presentations.
“Andy is an outstanding example of the kind of student we have here at the University,” President David M. Dooley. “He is engaged in serious and challenging work in and out of the classroom, is committed to making this country a true land of opportunity through his internships and public service and he has the courage to pursue causes that draw the ire of many in public life today. We are deeply proud of Andrew and congratulate him on being named a Truman Scholar.”
Boardman said equity, women’s access to the political process and economic opportunity are issues that have captured his attention for some time. He gained hands-on experience in policy research, analysis, and implementation as a policy intern at Rhode Island’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Opportunity. He now advocates for legislation and candidates as a board member of the Young Democrats of Rhode Island. He is also an associate member of Rhode Island Democratic Women’s Caucus.
On campus, he is president of the URI Democrats and president and a founding member of the URI Economics Student Association. He treasurer of the URI Debate Union and is an economics tutor at the Academic Enhancement Center.
“Receiving this award is such an affirmation of what I have been working on,” Boardman said. “I have worked on these issues on a local and state level, but my end goal is to be a policy advisor at the federal level because that is where policy change can have the greatest impact. I have been actively researching (former President Barack) Obama’s Economic Council and its priorities. I want to work on the most important issues in the economy.”